Berries, Greg & Morgan, Married Life

july date: virginia creeper trail

IMG_6772For my 34th birthday this year I wanted to accomplish something. I spotted the Virginia Creeper Trail on a list of fun things to do within 3 hours of Charlotte, and I knew that was it. After a ton of persuasion (read: none), Gregory agreed to drive me to Damascus VA and ride the trail with me. We researched all the details and made a plan to leave our berries with my parents on Sunday, July 5 while we ran out of town for a quick getaway/mini babymoon. Continue reading “july date: virginia creeper trail”

Berries, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Thoughts

june date: brownies & berry names

In June, we ventured out to a real restaurant (with white tablecloths and wait staff). We have a long-standing tradition, which started when I was pregnant with either Sophia or Zoe, of going to the Bonefish Grill in Matthews and sharing a flourless chocolate brownie à la mode while choosing a name for our new berry. Over the years, and multiple berries, we’ve built up a bunch of rules for this date. No other serious baby name discussions are permitted beforehand, and we each make a secret list of favorite names to bring. Once we sit down, the lists are formally passed back and forth. Greg crosses out his least favorite name from my list, while I do the same with his list, and then we compare. This repeats until there are only 1-2 names left on each list, and then we brainstorm various combinations, looking for the “perfect” sounding one. Greg double checks name meanings online while I mull over nicknames, family relationships, name associations, and more ethereal considerations. In the end, we usually come away with our joint favorite name, plus a good backup, and then wait until we see the child to finalize our choice! Except for Aaron Henry, when we didn’t have a backup and just knew all along that he would be Aaron Henry. Continue reading “june date: brownies & berry names”

Greg & Morgan, Married Life

may date: levi james

We have come a long way from our original plan for these monthly dates! We started out with a lot more adventure in mind, from our midnight 5k to ax-throwing to horseback riding… everything except skydiving. That’s where I draw the line. Obviously all these ideas were before we found out I was pregnant! And then the world shut down. So the past few months have been much different than we expected! Continue reading “may date: levi james”

Greg & Morgan, Married Life

april date: COVID-19

Mecklenburg county was under a stay-at-home order for the month of April, and we thought our date should reflect that. We considered getting childcare so we could make a romantic grocery run or take a quiet stroll through our neighborhood, but decided to literally stay at home and make the best of it.

We don’t ever go out for steak, so this was a perfect chance to pick up kosher steaks from a local grocer (support local!). Note for other hechshered meat friends in the Charlotte area: although there are normally kosher steaks at Trader Joe’s, they’re a waste of time in my opinion. Splurge on a nice cut from Gleiberman’s and you won’t regret it! Continue reading “april date: COVID-19”

Greg & Morgan, Married Life

march date: our 9th anniversary

March is a lovely month to get married, if you enjoy frigid weather and chilly rain. Technically March 6th, my anniversary, is still in the MIDDLE of WINTER. Somehow that fact didn’t occur to me when I picked a wedding date.

Most years we plan a desperate escape to the Caribbean for our anniversary. After remembering small details like our four (soon to be five) children, I give up and settle for a prosaic dinner out. Gregory comes to the rescue every time with a creative and memorable plan. This is part of his charm. Continue reading “march date: our 9th anniversary”

faith, Greg & Morgan, Married Life

february date: “incitement”

I surprised Gregory on February 5 with tickets to this year’s Charlotte Jewish Film Festival (which would have been no good without a babysitter, so that was part of the package too). There were plenty of comedy options in the CJFF lineup but I chose Incitement, a “rigorous psychological thriller” about the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin in 1995. It sounded fascinating!

So going in, I thought for sure the prime minister was assassinated by an Arab. This might sound racist but what other people love to kill Jews? Obviously Israeli history isn’t one of my strong points because the assassin was an Orthodox Jew named Yigal Amir. We were shocked! Apparently Prime Minister Rabin’s participation in the Oslo Accords led some of the religious Jews to view him as a rodef, a pursuer of the Jewish people who should be stopped. Yigal Amir was sentenced to life in prison and he’s actually still there today.

The film was shown at Temple Israel, not the coziest movie venue since no food or drink is permitted in the sanctuary out of respect, but a very appropriate place to be immersed into the life and mind of a religious Jew. It’s a somber story and one that gave us a lot to think about! Definitely recommend the film if you have the chance to see it.


Greg & Morgan, Married Life

january date: our first 5k

The USNWC’s midnight 5k on New Year’s Eve had my husband’s name written all over it. He loved the idea! Neither of us have done any running before, but we’ve always liked the idea of doing a short race together. It’s rare to find one that isn’t on Shabbat, so we jumped (ha) at the chance to do this one. I signed us up and found childcare; Greg collected headlamps for each of us. What we didn’t do, and probably should have, is practice. It’s harder than it sounds to casually run a few miles when a) it’s winter and b) you have four small children. Or I’m just lazy, whichever excuse is better! Continue reading “january date: our first 5k”

Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Thoughts

the lost friendship

I’ve learned recently that friendships can’t be forced.

It’s been a tough lesson.

A few years ago I spotted a potential friendship, and set to work developing it into an amazing bond that would last for years and years. By “work,” I mean investing. I really made this one a priority. I liked this young woman very much, and she seemed to like me. I could picture our families growing together, raising children together, being there for each other and experiencing life together. I tried to be the best friend I could possibly be – available, generous, kind, thoughtful, understanding, and endlessly supportive.

Well, it failed. Miserably.

Apparently, our personalities are different. Before this experience, I thought such a small difference could easily be overcome. Now, I’m not so sure. She and I can’t seem to communicate – it’s like we’re speaking different languages. I give a compliment, she takes offense. I speak with sincerity, she senses deception. I make conversation, she feels interrogated. Somehow, my good motives appear bad.

Why is this??

I wish I knew. The experience has shaken me. Even now, months down the road, my mind spins with hurt and bewilderment when I try to pinpoint what went wrong. How could I fail at something like friendship – it seems so simple and straightforward. I’m surprised how sad I feel about the situation. Like any breakup, the repercussions of rejection are painful.

Life goes on, and I try to be mature about everything – happy and excited for my pseudo-friend’s family, enthusiastically agreeing when others describe how wonderful she is, and maintaining a polite social media presence. Meanwhile, Gregory and I have stepped back, taken a deep breath, and focused our energy on friendships that will build us up, not tear us down. Still, a tiny part of me mourns for the friendship that never was.


“…Everything that happens to us in life is the product of {God’s} will and personal intervention in our lives…”
-Rabbi Shalom Arush

Berries, Married Life, Thoughts

being challenged

It was only a few weeks ago that our angelic, well-behaved toddler “tested the waters” of defiance by looking at me and saying NO when I asked her to put something away. She stated her point more strongly by tossing the toy on the ground and moving several steps away. I remember the moment clearly because I got a rush of adrenaline. “I have to win this battle!” I thought to myself, shocked at the possibility of losing control of my daughter already, picturing a giant F next to my name as a parent.

Continue reading “being challenged”